Midnight Lace

You are invited to rate and comment on the 39 films of Doris Day.

How do you rate "Midnight Lace"?

Poor
1
1%
Average
4
5%
Good
30
39%
Excellent
41
54%
 
Total votes: 76

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Johnny
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Johnny » 03 Apr 2012, 14:45

We are so excited to see Midnight Lace on Tuner Classics tomorrow night. What a treat!

Doris did a brilliant job keeping us all in suspense. I was a young teen in October 1960 when it opened at the Odeon theatre, on a rainy night in Kingston Ontario. I went to see the film with my friends Mac, Patti and her mother Mrs. E. When we got in the packed theater we sat six rows from the front. At one point in the film when someone tried to push Doris (Kit Preston) in front of a red double- decker bus, Mrs E. jumped and screamed, "Look Out" and hit the guy in front of us with her wet umbrella. It certainly broke the tension. It is a wonder that we were not all thrown out. For months after, Mac, Patti and and Iteased Mrs. E. by shouting,"Look Out". After all these years I am still laughing.

We all love you Doris and we love Midnight Lace.

Happy Birthday!
Johnny
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Toby_Martin
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Toby_Martin » 03 Apr 2012, 21:29

Funny story Johnny!

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Johnny
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Johnny » 05 Apr 2012, 11:21

it was wonderful to see Midnight Lace on Turner Classics last night. Even though we knew the ending, the performances, the atmosphere, cinematography and especially the music soundtrack by Frank Skinner helped us enjoy it even more.

I have an old 45 with the Midnight Lace theme; I would like to know if there was a film soundtrack of Frank Skinner's music score released. Frank Skinner was a brilliant composer who did the fantastic music score for the 1961 Susan Hayward\John Gavin film, Back Street.

In additon to the film score, we were also wondering what happened to the elegant, black Midnight Lace costume Doris wore. Hopefully it is in a film museum.

It was a fun evening watching Midnight Lace and Doris at her best.

Thanks Doris!
Johnny

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jmichael
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by jmichael » 05 Apr 2012, 14:42

I'm revising my original impressions after watching it last night on TCM. It was much better than I remembered. I still wish the script had been sharper in places. And I wish they had opened up the action a bit more, because it occasionally exhibited the limitations of the stage play it was based on. But the film is thoroughly entertaining and suspenseful even though you know how it's going to end.

Here's why in my opinion: the performances were strong across the board with the one exception of John Gavin, who compensated by being easy on the eyes. Doris went all the way with her performance and I admire the way she let go in the most intense scenes. Her breakdown on the stairs is startling and raw to the core. Some critics accused her of over-acting but I think she generates the right amount of hysteria given the circumstances. She was brilliant at conveying pure terror even when the script wasn't at the same level as her performance.

Mryna Loy was a joy as Aunt Bea; Roddy McDowall did the spoiled neer-do-well bit brilliantly; Natasha Parry was fine as the neighbor; and Rex Harrison was stalwart and dashing as the work obsessed husband. As always in a Ross Hunter film, the production values were first class with sumptuous set design, clothes, music, and cinematography. It's a jewel of a film to watch, a real "movie-movie" as they say, and I think the clothes are among the most elegant Doris has ever worn in films. The white evening gown (which she wore to the Oscars that year) may be the single most beautiful gown from all her films.

I love this movie and wish the script had gotten a tweaking or two before they shot it.

Michael
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Jas1
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Jas1 » 05 Apr 2012, 16:38

Agree 100% Micheal.

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Doris Martin
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Doris Martin » 14 Aug 2012, 16:55

Jas1 wrote:Agree 100% Micheal.
I think she deserves an OSCAR..she was brilliant..

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Johnny
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Johnny » 12 Jun 2014, 14:09

It has been two years, (April 3 2012) since TCM has shown Midnight Lace. It is such a great movie to watch, with all the wicked suspects in the mix. Doris did such a great job in this movie and as thrillers go, it is amongst the best. Let's hope TCM will be good enough to schedule Midnight Lace soon.
Johnny

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Johnny
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Johnny » 03 Oct 2014, 15:05

I watched the TCM vault collection edition of Midnight Lace with bonus features yesterday. The addtional features of the Robert Osborne introduction, the original trailer, the fashion featurette, the publicity stills, the New York radio interview with Doris, the costume designs by Irene who gave a great commentary, all added immense pleasure to the beautiful work done on Midnight Lace.

The music, the costumes, the cinematography are of exceptionally high quality and create a sense of beauty and elegange ccontrasted againstf Doris' constant fear throughout the film, It is a great thriller.

Doris stated that she received a lot of feedback from her fans that they did not like to see her in such frightening situations. Doris actually fainted during the scene on the staircase and the production had to be closded down for three days. Doris decided that this would be her last film drama of this kind.

I really appreciated all the bonus features on Midnight Lace. The film is a timeless thriller. I hope Doris' other films will come out with a documentary on the making of the film. This was done with the 50th anniversary editon of Pillow talk. It was a real treat.
Johnny

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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Johnny » 28 Oct 2014, 15:42

I shared the Midnight Lace film with some friends last night and some interesting comments were made.

One friend said that Doris \ her character, is a naturally warm persona and that she would not find the aloof or cool Rex Harrison's character attractive. The question that was posed was: What would have Midnight Lace been like if Cary Grant had been cast in the Rex Harrison role?

Cary Grant is a warm personality in many of his films and the shock of him being revealed as the villan in Midnight Lace would have been more surprising.

Doris and Cary had good chemistry in That Touch of Mink and perhaps this would have been the case in Midnight Lace.
Johnny

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Jas1
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Jas1 » 25 Mar 2015, 08:41

As we know, Irene was nominated for an Oscar for the clothes from Midnight Lace.

If you youtube search -the Acadamy Awards 1961 Costume Design, there is [roughly] a 5 minute clip of Barbara Rush [and a man, i can't recall] - presenting this award, in those days there were 2 awards for b&w and for colour costume.

However, it is interesting to see a costume worn from each nominated film- worn by a model- and the one chosen for ML - is the outfit worn by DD in the opening scene where is is terrorised in the park - interesting.

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paul
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by paul » 25 Mar 2015, 09:30

Thanks for alerting us to the clip. That's Robert Stack presenting with Barbara Rush.

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Jas1
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Jas1 » 25 Mar 2015, 15:46

You are welcome Paul- costumes then were given the prominence they rightly deserve.

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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Tybear2015 » 27 May 2015, 19:24

I think Midnightlace showed what a truly versatile actress she is. She really has the ability to become the character she portrays.

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Johnny
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Johnny » 01 Sep 2015, 16:08

Last night over dinner we discussed what Doris Day's films would be like with another leading lady in Doris' part. A comment was made about how unfair it was that Doris received so much criticism for her acting in Midnight Lace. it was described as overwrought and hysterical. Here are some comments made about what the other actresses might have done:

Audrey Hepburn- It was generally agreed that Audrey would have responded in a similar manner as Doris. We commented on her role in Wait Until Dark.

Judy Garland - It was thought that Judy would have been even more hysterical than Doris.

Elizabeth Taylor - We all laughed because we thought she would have had a gun and she would not be scared.

Susan Hayward - Rex Harrison wouldn't even try to kill her. It would be more likely that she would have had the Res Harrison role.

In any case it was a lot of fun to explore the question.

I will always like Doris' performance in Midnight Lace. I have always maintained that most people at that time would be out of their minds with fear. Think about that voice in the fog. Midnight Lace is always great to watch. The fans who love Doris will always fear for her safety.
Johnny

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Jas1
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Jas1 » 02 Sep 2015, 05:50

Interesting topic Johnny - and somewhat funny re- Elizabeth T and Susan H.

I think however it is worth noting that DD was very much a method actress and as she stated herself - she wasn't just playing hysterical, she "was hysterical" as she was inflcting the fear/ abuse/ whatever on to her being.

Although my mother loved DD - she used to say that her [Doris'] crying seemed forced and false - as young as i was at the time, instinctively i responded by saying that was DD's "real way of crying" - not acting. A cry is [generally] as individual as any of our features.

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Johnny
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Johnny » 02 Sep 2015, 14:58

I agree with you completely Jas that Doris is authentic in everything she does. Doris' crying was real. Doris had a great deal of real pain in her life to draw upon while filming those scenes. I did read in her biography that she had fainted after doing the scene on the staircase in Midnight Lace.

The casting dinner game is a celebration with my friends for our great love of the movies. Doris is always number one in our hearts for her many talents. We hold great affection for all the other terrific actresses mentioned, Audrey, Elizabeth, Judy and Susan. The observations made during the game were a reflection on the type of roles each actress often played..

By the way, tomorrow September 3rd. at 8 p.m. on Turner Classics, it is the beginning of a twelve hour marathon of Susan Hayward movies. She is the star of the month for September and each Thursday at 8 p.m. there are six of her films being aired in succession.
Johnny

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howard
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by howard » 02 Sep 2015, 17:11

I really liked her
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Doris Martin » 03 Sep 2015, 01:38

ME TOO/

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jmichael
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by jmichael » 03 Sep 2015, 10:04

Agree with James about considering Doris a method actor in terms of becoming hysterical by reliving horrific moments from her past. She gave 100% and then some in that scene. What makes it seem over-the-top is the so-so script - the storyline is predictable, there isn't much substance to any of the supporting characters, and the bad-guy is obvious from the get-go. If any criticism can be levied against Doris, it's for giving the film and the script more of her soul than it deserved.

Too bad she never connected again with the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and a top drawer suspense script.

And speaking of Audrey, Doris would have been wonderful as Susie in Wait Until Dark.

Michael
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Johnny
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Johnny » 10 Oct 2015, 14:28

I did not realize that Midnight Lace was made at Universal Studio. I had always thought that she made the film in London. I remember seeing a picture in the paper of Doris sitting on a pile of suitcases at a London train station. I now realize that it must have been for The Man Who Knew Too Much which was filmed partly in London.

I think what convinced me that Midnight Lace was a London shoot was the outstanding British supporting cast of Roddy Mc Dowell. Rex Harrison, Natasha Perry and Hermione Baddeley.

This cast gave extraordinary British atmosphere to the film.
Johnny

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Peter Flapper
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Peter Flapper » 08 Nov 2015, 06:07

Hi again,

Came arcoss this clip: Dan Ireland over Midnight Lace


Image

Enjoy,

P

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Jas1
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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Jas1 » 08 Nov 2015, 17:54

Thanks Peter for that, really enjoyed it.

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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by webmaster » 09 Nov 2015, 05:25

Follow Remembering Doris Day: https://twitter.com/DayRemembering

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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by Johnny » 09 Nov 2015, 15:47

Thank you Peter for the great clip on Midnight Lace.

I did not realize that Doris Day and Rex Harrison had an uncomfortable working relationship. I never understood Rex Harrison being cast in the role of the husband. Who would think that Doris' character would be attracted to someone who comes across as elitist and detached? Imagine the warm and caring John Gavin in the role of the husband. That would have been an incredible shocker for the audience

I never tire of watching Midnight Lace. It is a terrific thriller and Doris is absolutely genuine in her scenes of fear and terror. The film looks incredibly beautiful.

Dan Ireland is absolutely right that the Academy committed an injustice in not nominating Doris for best actress in Midnight Lace. Doris should have been nominated for The Pyjama Game, Teacher's Pet, and The Thrill Of It All.
Johnny

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Re: Midnight Lace

Unread post by webmaster » 09 Nov 2015, 17:21

I did not realize that Doris Day and Rex Harrison had an uncomfortable working relationship.
Where did you get that from, Johnny? Is it from the Dan Ireland YouTube? I didn't listen to it all,

You know Doris said the opposite, as I quoted her on the page:

Working with Rex Harrison was a great experience. She said Rex was “a darling, witty man…with a light sense of humor that helped keep me keep my sanity throughout the rough part of the picture.”
Follow Remembering Doris Day: https://twitter.com/DayRemembering

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